The World Wide Web is a vast, complicated place, filled with detailed intricacies that would overwhelm most people’s minds. Yet it’s essential to our lives and we couldn’t live without it. We use it every day, from submitting our assignments online to posting on social media. But the internet is changing, and Montclair State University students are not blind to this.
The Web3 Association at Montclair State is made up of a group of students who are dedicated to being a part of the future of the web. Led by president Joshua Porporino, a sophomore information technology major, the club aims to prepare students to be able to work with Web3, or what Porporino called “the next iteration of the internet.”
Web1 is the early version of the internet, where all the common user could do was read what was put online. Then came Web2, which allowed internet users to comment and interact with content, as well as make their own. Web3 builds off of Web2, but with a twist.
“So normally, when you host a website, you have to go through Amazon, or you have to go through some kind of service,” Porporino said. “But to host your own website on Web3, you just code it directly to the network. There’s no third party.”
Porporino explained how this would be done. In order to make the websites decentralized, they would be built on blockchains, the same technology that cryptocurrencies use.
“Using that type of technology, you can build computer applications on top of that technology,” Porporino said.
The purpose behind this is to make the web more accessible, as well as more efficient. The main project that the club is working on is to move how students transfer their credentials from the university to Web3. This will allow them to do it for free, as opposed to the $40 charge that it takes now.
“They’re doing that to ensure that nobody’s messing with [it], there’s no fraud,” Porporino said. “But if it’s on the blockchain, it literally gets transferred for free. And you know that it’s legit.”
Another advantage to Web3 is its security.
“[The hosting servers] have their network issues all the time,” Porporino said. “You constantly hear almost every day of server issues. And another big thing is [that Web3 is] impossible to hack. It’s impervious to all hacking because of the way it’s designed.”
A large reason behind the club’s founding is that no classes are being offered on Web3. Dewan Fathima, the club’s vice president and a senior business major with a concentration in management in information and technology, explained why she felt the club was important and why she became a part of it.
“It’s just something new that many people are getting into,” Fathima said. “And I do want to be one of the first new people to learn about it and get into it before everyone else gets in it. And I know we’re learning [to use] this website’s programming to help us build those skills.”
Nazia Ozair, treasurer of the club and a junior computer science major, said why she feels it’s important that students join the club.
“I don’t think people understand how useful the information in this club is that we’re teaching,” Ozair said. “So I always talk about the blockchain club if I meet any of my other friends and like to see if they’re interested in it.”
As for what’s in the future for the Web3 Association, the members’ main goal is to get Student Government Association (SGA) approval, which they need in order to be an official organization and grow.
“We want to have our own research lab where we could have our own personal computers where we could have the programs already up and running,” Fathima said.
Personal computers for the club are important to help encourage new students to join the club and learn a bit about what it takes to code your own website.
“We need our own specific computers [so that we can use] specific programs to use Solidity, [the coding language the club uses],” Porporino said. “And by having a lab, we want to create an environment where people can come and learn at any time of the day.”